Tap water in Paris is safe to drink, although many Parisians prefer to buy bottled water.
No vaccinations are required when travelling to France, but the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination.
Comprehensive travel insurance to cover any medical problems is strongly recommended.
Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein receive free or reduced-cost, state-provided, health-care cover with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you qualify, make sure you arrange it in your home country prior to travelling to France.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online any time – even if you’re already on the road.
Paris has some 50 hospitals including the following:
American Hospital of Paris Private hospital; emergency 24-hour medical and dental care.
Hertford British Hospital Less expensive, private, English-speaking option.
Hôpital Hôtel Dieu One of the city’s main government-run public hospitals; after 8pm use the emergency entrance on rue de la Cité.
Pharmacies (chemists) are marked by a large illuminated green cross outside. At least one in each neighbourhood is open for extended hours; find a complete night-owl listing on the Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau website (www.parisinfo.com).